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Late Winter inspection, Queen?, Brood?


I am in Kansas City. Still Winter, but warming up. Today it was a pleasant and somewhat unseasonable 62 degrees so I inspected the hive for the first time in over 3 months. I looked for the queen and for brood. T is my understanding that even in the cold Midwest, the queen will start laying in early February. Sometimes even in January. I looked for open celled brood, but could find none. There may be capped brood. Attached are pictures of what I believe is the queen and also of some of the frames.

My questions:

  1. Is this the queen?

  2. There are 2 pictures where there is a triangle of sunlight. Within those sunlit triangles there are capped cells. Are those capped brood? If so why couldn’t I find any uncapped brood?

  3. I saw many hive beetles. A surprise to me at this time of year. Should I be surprised? What should I do?


That is the queen:

Not 100% sure on the capped brood but the way they are covering it I would say most likely.

As far as open brood the bees are covering it to keep it warm so it’s hard to see.


At least 5 great photos of your queen. Beautiful.

Looks like capped brood. There may be uncapped, but the light wasn’t good enough in the photos for me to see. I need new glasses, but I think your lighting was difficult.

  1. Keep a strong hive
  2. Don’t kill bees between boxes, don’t throw wax on the ground, don’t expand the hive too fast
  3. Squash any beetles that you see
  4. Consider a beetle trap in the top box of your hive
  5. Consider watering SHB parasitic nematodes into the soil around your hive

I had about 30 SHB in a hive last fall. Since I did all of the above, I have only found a few live ones on the inner cover, and about 1-8 in the beetle traps between frames.


Thank you for such a quick response. Could you please be more specific about recommendations 4 and 5 regarding SHB.

  1. Consider a beetle trap in the top box of your hive
  2. Consider watering SHB parasitic nematodes into the soil around your hive


I use these:

You can either use the oil from Mann Lake, or USP Grade Mineral Oil. I haven’t noticed a difference, and I have tried both. One trap in the top box of the hive is usually enough if you are going to inspect every week or two.

Only tried these early fall last year. I think they are helping, but that may be wishful thinking. :blush:


What a gorgeous queen! Here’s to your colony’s great start to a new season :rainbow::grinning::+1:


So I’m ok. I was a bit worried by the lack of uncapped brood. Thanks for the reassurance. I’ll try to be patient.


With them clustering on the frames like that it would be hard to see anything. With that queen and all those bees I would shut it up and let the bees get on with it. SHB traps would be worthwhile like Dawn said.



I wonder if I can purchase those nematodes in Australia?
Spreading them under our hives might make a difference. We don’t seem to have excessive SHB, but would like to curb further development.
They are just increasing now with the first spring rains.


I don’t know, but I don’t see why not. From a climate point of view, they are widely tolerant of a large variety of temperatures, although they don’t like prolonged freezing conditions.We have had pretty good results from ours, and I will probably order some more soon, as they recommend application in autumn or spring.